Sunday, October 15, 2006

I like it when other people think the same way we do

Seth Godin is a marketer and author and entrepeneur.

This is a recent post on his blog:


I just got an angry note from Anna in the Midwest. She read one of my books, got the coupon for unlimited free consulting by email and decided to cash it in. She sent me a note asking me to persuade her bosses that the best way to grow their resort was to lower prices.
When I responded that perhaps she ought to consider raising prices and using the extra money to create a remarkable experience, she got really angry with me. Of course, I refunded her consulting fee. Actually gave her three times back what she paid...
Here's what I think: Cheaper is the last refuge of the person who's not a very good marketer. Cheaper is easy and cheaper is fast and cheaper is linear and cheaper is easy to do properly, at least at first. But cheaper doesn't spread the word (unless you are much cheaper, but to be much cheaper, you need to be organized from the ground up, like Walmart or JetBlue, to be cheaper). They are, you're not.
Cheaper is a short term hit, not a long term advantage. Cheaper doesn't create loyalty, because the other guy can always figure out how to be cheaper still, at least in the short run.
Even free isn't cheap enough to win in the long run. Not if other people can figure out how to match what you've got.
So, if you can't be cheaper, be better.

I think I'm going to frame this and stick it above the desk in the office here at C&P towers.


  1. I thought SETH GODIN was one of the guys behind THE BOOK PEOPLE. If so, I rest my case.

  2. Erm... Not sure about that.

  3. Nope, Seth was one of the first big Internet entrepreneurs during the original dotcom boom (when I was a humble web designer), sold his first company to Yahoo in 1998, and then settled down to being an enigmatic (read 'whacky') web guru. Look up his wikipedia entry to read about his big concept "The IdeaVirus" spread by individuals known as sneezers. I jest not.

    Seth is spot on though. Another marketing guru Jay Abraham once compared being cheap to declaring yourself the fastest gun in the days of the Wild West. Sooner or later, someone (rightly or wrongly) would try to prove otherwise, and you'd have to go through a pointless exercise proving them wrong (by becoming even cheaper) - or killing yourself in the process...